I am delighted to share that I'm an Aunt now, to a little 6 lb and 8 ounce baby girl named Summer. I guess everything went ok, which is great. My dad was the only one that accurately predicted anything (he guessed the day she would be born). I lose my five bucks, but WHO FREAKIN' CARES?? It's so exciting! I am once again taking my little mini-break for the first week of May to BC, although it will be much different this time I imagine, with little to no debauchery, and just helping out as much as I can. Which is great.
This is nuts. I've just constantly been thinking, "I wonder what this little person will be like? Will it be like my brother, will it be like his wife? Who will she take after? My brother is a dad?!"Update:
I have one picture downloaded to Flickr of le baby pants, if anyone wants to see (who hasn't been inundated with emails from me full of baby pictures yet).
Well fine...fuck you.
Have you ever house sat for someone before? It's like you adopt their life(style) for a week. And, this is refreshing at some point because it's a little change from the ordinary, but then it becomes old, fast. And the second day isn't even over yet.
In fact, I would say that so far, it's downright embarrassing. Before my aunt left, she gave me about $300 worth of lecture time on how to have the most unhealthy and codependent relationship with your canine EVER. Dogs don't need their teeth brushed. I don't need to go on an 11:30 pm car ride, so you can show me where the closest animal hospital is. Importantly, your animal's heart is not liable to explode if you do not adhere strictly move by move to the morning and evening routine that you are borderline OCD about anyways, prior dog.
Along with this little lap dog toting person I am temporarily becoming, I am also the driver of Moby Dick, the Ford Explorer. Embarrassing. Even more embarrassing, is the only cd you remember to bring to jam into the stereo at the airport as soon as she is in revolving doors, is Matthew Good. Yeah, I could have listened to the radio, but man am I tired of Sonic lately. And I don't really like many other stations. Plus, you know....cruising...I wanted cruising music.
And last on my list of highly unreasonable and ungrateful whining-ishing, is that I am afraid to eat anything here. I don't know how she eats this stuff and doesn't fluff up into a ball of fat. Stuffed foods with french names, and no cheese in sight that isn't 95% "Going-to-kill-you-sensuously."
In short...I've long loathed my aunt's lifestyle, she's very much ruled by a higher standard of living, and it just gets higher. It makes me nervous to be around it, because I'm afraid I might like it, but at the same time, it's embarrassing. Do you know how embarrassing it is to walk with a dog like this downtown? Do you? I love him dearly, but man....He needs some mean ass jowls and a bit more mass than a meagre six pounds.
Admittedly, I feel bad for the poor dude...he's all tired and fuzzy and sleeping in my lap, and more than a little depressed that Godzilla is not here.
Ok, so this picture isn't installation art, but ...it should be. The move is called the Camel Clutch, and a great piece of installation art could be done with it, minus the dripping bodily fluids. Perhaps in a train station or something.
Anyways, I was bored, and tired of cleaning, so I stole some interesting questions from an interesting man's
blog to answer for myself. Feel free to do the same. It could be...a meme, or something.Q:If you could decide what will be written on your gravestone, what would you have inscribed?
I think I used to have a good idea of what this would be, but for some reason, all I can think of now would be "Kyla died doing what she loved best. Eating cold refridgerated left-overs and having sex at the same time. Those mussels finally got her in the end though." Man...what a great way to go!Q: If you were elected to be the leader of the United States tomorrow, what would be your first act?"
I'm taking my relationship in my hands with this one... I think I would turn attention off of the war in Iraq completely, and start attending to the societal needs of my own country, like poverty, homelessness, and a piss poor health care system (depending on where you go).Q: If you could pick one famous person to be your neighbor, who would you have next door to you?
This is really tough. I can't say Gordon Downie anymore either, because it would be somewhat unoriginal... (although...this has become an exercise of unoriginality already, a while ago). Maybe MC Hammer....we'd be mowing our lawns on the same day, and he'd yell, "STOP-- Hammer time!" We'd bust a move right there and have barbeques together where we could discuss the flash in the pan qualities of his career, and babysit each other's kids. It'd be great.Q: If you were going to turn to crime to support yourself from now on, what kind of criminal would you become?
I think that if I had to turn to crime...judging from what I've seen in the store, I would deal crack. It's a hazardous lifestyle, but the money...I mean, fucking wow.
Except I wouldn't be a derelict crack dealer...I'd be incognito, and neat, keeping a good rule of thumb to have which is, "don't smoke your own stuff. Crack kills."
This is why, boys and girls, I am going to ....oh wait a minute...THERE is no afterlife. HA!
Chrome and steel anagrams of love.
In the last week or so, I've had some startling realizations about myself. One being, I shoot off my mouth, A LOT sometimes.
More seriously though, I feel somewhat enlightened, although not necessarily in the positive sense of the word. Ha. And all of a sudden I've realized that I can't even put it into words how I'm feeling, other than to say, "I get it."
This occurred to me the day before yesterday, and the most amazing words have been fluttering through my mind ever since, but they're circling slowly like dusty vultures afraid of over-eager hyenas.
I am not in total financial despair in this moment, but I'm getting close.
Today in art h 256, we went through installation art of the eighties up until present day. And it was fucking glorious and inspirational, and you just wait until I get my hands on some resin and make beautiful casts of something that look like beautiful casts of something made out of jello, left to sit by a window in a gallery low to the ground in the late afternoon. The rest of the year will have this blog be graphically laden with installation art.
"Rabbit", by Jeff Koons
Imagine that you're me, and you wrote a poem about shaving girl-parts earlier this week to make yourself laugh. Imagine then, if out of a lack of any other material suited for a poetry reading, that you actually ended up reading said poem. Imagine if you actually won something for reading it. Imagine how your parents would react...that confusing mix of pride and revulsion at such when they find out their daughter wrote a poem, and read it aloud
, about shaved pussy or the threat thereof.
I can't believe it! I sincerely hope the din drowned out my "what the fuck?!" as I promptly forgot where I was, and what my home address was. I am thrilled to death, but it was shocking. I have never won anything with my writing before. Along with that, there were so many good readers there. When I had to vote, it was really difficult, because they were all so good tonight. Allison reread a poem she'd read last fall, that I loved then, and still love. I was so glad to get to hear it again, and additionally glad that I got to hear Mike again, and that Tess actually read a piece (of the bittersweet soulsucker that is Ikea). And Bootylicious? A classic forever. More men should think like that.
I'm still kind of speechless/dumbfounded/giddy/grinning stupidly/full up. It was an amazing and terrifying feeling. I think I just upped the bar for myself, which is good...I need something great to aspire to, even if it is the self destruction of writing good poetry. At the same time though, I felt bad too, because I kept wondering if it was only the impetus of a prize that made me write well. I don't think it was, because I was intimidated and rather pessimistic with my outlook towards a "prize", but still.
If anyone Raving Poets related reads this...thankyou. You totally made my *span of time before the feeling of bliss and instant cockiness wears off*.
question the meaning of not knowing the answer
I went to a presentation on racism tonight... and was startled by so much that I didn't know.
Things to think about:
What is being American/Canadian?
"There are things that you [as a white person] can do if you want, and things you don't have to do if you don't want to. Having to do things 'the white way', for a visible minority, is pretty much non-negotiable. I'm not going to trust you, if you don't ever come into my understanding, the way I am constantly in yours as a way of survival."
Words bespeak millions of things: "Your people. These people. Colored."
One thing that was interesting that came up, that to me, was obvious, was the discussion of the most harmful type of racism. The thought of neo-nazis and white supremacists come up, and one of the people in the film expressed that "yes, they bother me deeply on a personal level, but not as much as the majority of racists, who are people who don't even realize that what they are doing is wrong."
There was this guy in the film (it was actually a documented retreat to counsel against racism) who was one of the latter-- didn't realize that his mode of thinking was so incredibly insidious. He was raised by that. It got to the point in the movie, where it was incredibly hard to watch, much like an episode of Office Space a while ago, on the same subject. Because all you're thinking is, "holy hell man, just shut up. Shut the fuck up, and stop the flow of feces from your mouth." Part of what this man inadvertantly showed, is something I realized I've seen and heard countless times: that is, blaming the oppressed for their own predicament. In the film it was called "the bootstraps theory", which is pretty self-explanatory (ie: we're all human beings, and now everyone has equal opportunity...and it's up to YOU to obtain that for yourself). Basically, invalidating an experience that one has probably never known. Taking the complaints and stories of something you've never been a part of, and judging them as being not valid, because you don't understand.
It was really hard for me to sit through this. It shouldn't have been, but I honestly felt rather uncomfortable a lot, which in retrospect, I should have. If I wasn't uncomfortable, something would have been wrong with me. It was guilt, but it amazingly had a lot to do with my own inability I realized, to talk about it. The more I realized that the worst kind of racist is someone who doesn't know that they are, the more I felt inclined to clam up, by virtue of a discourse that perhaps I don't have as much access to as I thought I did. To be blunt, I didn't want to say anything incredibly stupid. I can know in my heart that I would never intend to say something terrible, but I don't trust my experience. At the same time though, I'm pretty driven to learn more about it. It should be a goal that I can talk about this, because I still dream of my rural mediation group. It's amazing though, because I already feel like I talk about it a ton, (and maybe too much?) to everyone, and yet tonight, I was speechless.
I realized that part of that stems from an upbringing where it was not easy to talk about racism at all. I always knew something was wrong (admittedly, I am still continually realizing the extent of it), but growing up my opinion was never a popular one. I've been told my thoughts are incorrect more often than in a good direction, especially when I was younger. After a while, you start to not talk about these things anymore, because it seems hopeless when you're treading water in the sea of ignorance that is rural Alberta. And you forget what it is you were trying to say, because no one likes to be told they're wrong and stupid or overly idealistic all the time. Tonight I realized that there are very few people that I can be fairly open with when talking about racism. At the same time, there is value in realizing that, to be fair, people ingest information at different times and amounts than everyone else...it doesn't mean they're headed in the wrong direction though, just because they haven't reached the level you're at yet.
There was a girl in my class who was there also (one of like three who actually showed up, despite it being a mandatory requirement--though my prof didn't even show up....) who actually did talk though, and told a story that was illustrative of my nervousness and recent problems with not knowing what to do, or how to do it. She had been running across people all week who's interac cards weren't working, and as a small act of kindness, she'd offer to cover whatever it was that the person was attempting to pay for (small sums, and incredibly generous/nice). Well, it happened again in a Safeway to an older black lady in front of her, and she automatically, without thinking, jumped in and said, "oh, I'll get that for you if you want." Didn't even think about what she was doing, and the lady got really upset ("what, do you think I'm poor because I'm black..." etc.), which is understandable I realized, because it could be seen as very patronizing.
It was a good realization to have, that it is so easy to come across as patronizing and ignorant, despite your best intentions. She didn't even think about it. I doubt I would have either at the time. I would have been like, "hey, that really sucks. Here lemme help you out." And I'm sure there have been instances (if I sat down and thought about it) where I may have been patronizing to a lot of people in the past. The cool part was, was the discussion mediator was a prof of social sciences at the Uni. and gave very good advice: Don't be patronizing. LOL. It seems simple, but it's not.
There was another girl, who had just returned from a trip with 40 other people to T-dot...she is Italian-Cree-Canadian....but as she said, "I look more Italian than Aboriginal, and it puts me in a situation where I hear a lot of hurtful things." Apparently the rest of her group had no bones about making jokes about Aboriginal people, and it really upset her. She asked the one other brown guy on the trip how he dealt with it, and he answered that "they're just jokes. I go along with them, because it gives me a sense of belonging." This girl, after the incident, was ready to drop out of school, she was so discouraged. I was completely blown away. But the support that she got from all the people in that room after sharing that story, was amazing. I of course, sat there like a useless speechless lump, and didn't know what to do, even though I got really emotional about it.
John gave me some very useful advice though, which was to "just do what you can, when you can. If you try and tackle all the racism in the world, you'll burn out (earlier echoed in a similar fashion via Joel), but if you see something racist, injust, whatever....speak up. Anything you do, would be better than walking away, or ignoring it." And it's true. It's not a lot to go on, but it's definately a start.
This is a lot to ingest. I'm going to go do dishes and jump in the tub. My feet have been wet and cold all day. The holes in my shoes have evolved from mere annoyances, to the equivalent of the opening of the Hoover Dam.
I leave you with one last thought: What does it mean to a white person to be white? Do you think about it?
deleted cookies, and no inspiration for you
I'm not have a good day. Before I went to sleep last night I had this incredible feeling that something was really wrong somewhere, and I couldn't figure it out. I ended up phoning at least one person I knew to placate myself into maybe sleeping soundly, by finding out that at least they were all right. So yeah, if something was horribly wrong with one of you at around 3:30 am this morning, and I didn't call you, I'm sorry.
I had a very interesting/weird dream last night. Not before I watched Donny Darko again though, which of course, is always a good idea to do before you attempt to go to bed. The dream was set in a desert, and involved torture that wasn't really torture, a war, refugees, and some weird food play. Blueberries? It inspired me for a painting though, which is interesting. I never have "painting dreams." I sketched it out at work today.
Two days left to come up with the most amazing poem ever. I see Adam has already sent out a mass email asking for support... clap louder for me, because I'm cooler, kay?
squishy snow bits
So, me and about half of the population of Edmonton woke up with a hang-over today. It also happened to be the greatest snowfall thusfar in this winter, so I did drag my hung-over self in all my pulsating glory outside to romp around on my snowshoes.
Now, there's a certain length of time you can do this for before you're just overdoing it. When you stop getting "you are a fucking genius," and attention just turns to awkward stares as you squawk along on the sidewalk, one should take off the snowshoes and walk grinning like an idiot home. It was a lot of fun.
I really really had a lot of fun last night. I would like to thank all my friends for coming out, it was a total blast, with the exception of walking home in a blizzard and a very awkward situation.
I like poop
After sitting back and being in a relatively good mood for the last eight hours of yesterday, I realized that the reason I was so foul-tempered and genuinely just angry for no good reason had to do with a lot of things. Actually it has to do with everything.
Sometimes the "big picture" as Tess so aptly put it tonight, just gets too overwhelming. Normally, I am able to combat this with a healthy cynicism, but a day or so ago, I just sort of lost the ability to do that. I would even go so far as saying sometimes you need a slightly unhealthy cynicism to fight complete and utter resignation to the world.
But I'm cured! I bombed my poetry reading last night with the first political poem ever...but at the same time, it needed to be said. Yes, it wasn't subtle, but I realized afterwards that it's something that can't afford to be subtly approached anymore. I also realized that it's the first thing I've done in doing anything to act against society for the institutional and societal inequity held towards Aboriginals. I don't care if they hated it, or what, but the fact was that I read it in front of total strangers. Not all of them tuned me out, and maybe one person got thinking about it (I know they did, I got approached by a person afterwards). And that was completely inspirational.
Alas, I have homework to do. I also have to work on writing "the greatest poem ever." I'm going to have a hand at a few of them over the weekend. I'm up to two already to pick from. Hopefully I have something decent by Wednesday, because I'm fairly certain I'll actually be completely broke by then, because of an expenditure at the bookstore today. I had a gift certificate, and I got "The Outlaw book of American Poetry" (something I've been salivating about getting) and the last copy of a Bukowski book I haven't seen before (older stuff). I couldn't stand the thought of someone else buying it. I had to. You don't understand.
Ok. Homework = go time.
Sidenote: found something
that was utterly hilarious here...I didn't know that pooping in one's pants or peeing in one's bed (and letting it stagnate for an amazing number of days) was a fetish. Oh sweet naivety!
The Foulness: part II
I realized today that I'm so incredibly disgusted with the world in general. The general populace is better at evading the chore of being good than actually being good. We're also very good at making sure the downtrodden stay that way. If I were to enquire if someone who has gone missing because he got evicted from the YMCA had been around, the first thing the person I would ask would say is, "why? Does he owe you money?"
People are not decent. Some have their shining moments, but I'm inclined to think that we're better at being shitheads than anything else. So then, if our world is a bustling orgy of shitheads, what the hell is the point?
I'm sure if I had faith, I could at least pretend that there is hope for humanity, but sadly I don't.
I threw a half full coffee in the Square today and watched it explode as it met concrete, begging for someone to come up to me and berate me for doing it, so that I could say, "do you honestly think that if I'd thrown it in the garbage, that somehow the world would be less disgusting?" But of course, no one had the decency.
Sure...maybe I am being a miserable immature person right now if you just look at that one act, but honestly, people live their whole lives not questioning acts like that (or worse), and they're still happy. Is it better to focus on just the tiny microcosm of your own life and forget the world? Is it easier that way to just let the pain and misery of other people fade to white noise in the background?
Even better, what do you do if you do care about people, and you impair yourself and your ability to help, by trying to help, by trying to be a good person who stands up for what's right?
So, things have returned to their regular state of deflation and aimlessness here in Canada, the "inferior" country.
I learned something valuable tonight....Yes, your country and his country, and conversations about them, will cause tension. I may not be that much of a patriot, but I still love my country. And he loves his. And for some reason, this worries me, because his country scares the proverbial poop out of me. I know that fear = ignorance, and that I shouldn't even be thinking about it (we're worlds away from that "discussion" at this point), but it still concerns me, because I worry about things. I worry about everything-- it's what I do.
I'm really really cranky right now. I didn't want to find out that someone I have tremendous respect for is meth-affiliated, though it certainly explains a lot about him. I didn't want to come home and be treated as "the most annoying person in the world" as usual. I mean, honestly, if I am the most annoying person in the world, why isn't anyone else telling me so? If I'm annoying, please say something. That sort of set the tone for the conversation with le boy who in all his adorable exuberance decided to play the "let's rip Canada" game, and see how angry he could make the girl thing, because he's never seen her mad or irritated before.
I'm SO irritated right now. I need to calm down. I've been working on this poem for three days, and I want to finish it, and get feedback, but I think it will just irritate me more to work on something so politically bound right now. I don't know what to do. Folding laundry will irritate me. Cleaning the bathroom will downright aggravate me.
I think I will just sit here and marinate in my foulness.
we shared a moment
Suffice to say, I am in love with John. Yep, I've said it. I didn't know you could have so much fun with one person, not being away from them for more than two hours in the course of seven days. And it still didn't seem like we had enough time together. I am sad today because he will be in Anchorage two hours from now, but at the same time, I am incredibly calm because it's just the beginning. It's cool too because now we have this experience and the memories it created. It was like 168 hours of a first date, which is hilarious because we've been at "I love you Gary" for seven months.
So here's where I'm at right now. We got to the airport expecting to have 2 hours of a leisurely non-stressful goodbye, and went to get his boarding pass. It turns out that if you are American, you have to go straight into security after you get your boarding pass. Enter: Me tearing up way prematurely and not keeping my cool like I promised I would. We said our somewhat rushed goodbyes (although private, thanks to the nice people at the Alaska Airlines desk), and I walked off in a daze and decided to fill a small portion of my new void with Harveys. At Harveys (yes there is a reason I'm talking about a fast-food restaurant), in my bereft state, I saw something on the ground next to one of the pillars in the eating area and me, being the type of person who picks up strange things on the ground, bent down and picked it up. A brand new blue headband (like, a winter one) emblazoned with "Alaskan Iditarod." Yeah, I didn't used to believe in signs. Yeah, I also know that the Iditarod was last week, so it's not unlikely that someone came through to go see the teams cross the line...but still! I will take my "sign", and I will put it on my backpack, because my boyfriend's dad was actually there last week and saw the teams cross the lines (and took cool pictures). It was just a weird but strangely uplifting thing to happen at that precise moment I think.
Right now, I am at the point where I'm attending to all the cleaning that I neglected throughout the week, but running into some tears when I find things he's forgotten. A hair elastic, a pack of Marlboros, American change, and his smell. It's sick, this love thing, I tell you, but it's bittersweet, because I know that this boy is a keeper. I haven't laughed like that, been touched like that, looked at like that, cried like that, ever, over anyone in my life. But I'm looking forward to the rest, I tell you whut.
So, I guess the only thing perplexing me now really, is that I feel bad for blogging this, because most of my friends are single (Fear Not!) and have probably wrinkled up their noses in disgust multiple times by now, but I figure that rather then, I dunno, talking about it constantly and non-stop
, that this might be the better approach. You know...giving you the option to stop reading it at anytime.
In other news, Beatrix the Sea Rabbit, attempted to end his/her life yesterday, exiting the small bowl, and doing a flip off the HP Photo scanner onto the keyboard at John's fingers. It was quite dramatic, and my dad was on the phone going, "what? Who is this Beatrix person? Are they ok?"
Also, as terrible as it sounds, I miss the store. I am excited to go back to work tomorrow. I also have applied for a city job as an activity coordinator/tour guide/interpreter with the city of Edmontonia, so wish me luck on that. I'm thinking about getting on as an assistant caregiver in a group home also, because the more I think about it, the less I want to work a la the city of SA again, no matter how good the pay is. My dad will be upset because it was a "guaranteed", but I'm tired of working there, and I want to have a job a little more relevant to my actual degree.
More things to think about in my life:
*Going to Alaska in August
*Going to BC in May (I'm getting paid to do a 30 ft. x 6 ft mural on the fence of a friend to my brother)
*A spring AND summer session. Fuck. (both of the courses I needed were at the same time- those smarmy U of A bastards)
*Where will I really live in the future?
Where I will live in the future is still a conundrum in my mind, unfortunately. I have an inkling that I will catch the "disease of Alaska" as a friend in my Ling class put it (she loves it there), after going there in August, but at the same time...I have never ever had to think about NOT living in Canada before, although it's the same for John, I'm sure. It's something that only time will tell ( a long long while from now), but it's admittedly tough to mull through. I've realized that I love being near my family and friends, and that I'm not good at being away from them, because I'm really bad at correspondence.
 When "dearie" is mistaken for the name of another man, madness and a good running joke ensues. And yes, it's corny as it was meant to be, to call someone "dearie."
T- 22 hours... holy fuck. HOLY fuck. Holy mother mother fuck fuck. That is all.